Re: [gardeners] soap

penny x stamm (
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 00:14:50 -0500

Byron, my grannie made soap until she was 15-y-o, but
I wasn't around to watch her...<g>....  I do know that one needs
(usually) animal fat and an alkali, but I couldn't write a term paper
on it.. I understand that in agriculture, an alkali is a soluble mineral
salt or a mixture of soluble salts, present in some soils -- especially
in arid regions -- and is detrimental to the growing of most crops. 

I had an old fashioned German neighbor 50 years ago who always
made her own soap. She certainly did not have ready access to
wood ashes,  but could have used sodium carbonate (washing soda),
or sodium or potassium hydroxide, along with the animal fat. 

Penny in New York   

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